Though originally starting out as a tablet, which is a smart mobile device with a larger screen size than a regular phone, new iPad upgrades have made these devices so much more sophisticated. iPads now can manage complex tasks easily, operating closer to a laptop than a smartphone.
If you are in the market looking for a new device to carry out general work, it is normal to get confused with the iPad vs laptop dilemma.
This article will attempt to go over everything an iPad and laptop offers to compare the two and hopefully help you make a decision.
If you cannot choose between an iPad and a Laptop device then keep reading to see which one would be the best option for you.
Table of Contents
Pros and Cons of an iPad
Each of these devices comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let us go over the good and bad sides of getting an iPad first.
- Apple Pencil
The usability of the Apple pencil definitely makes iPads far more attractive, as you can take notes like a pro using fantastic notetaking apps.
Not only that, but the pencil also makes it easy to draw visual guides and digital art. This feature makes it handy for Arts or architecture students.
- Portability and Extensions
As a tablet, an iPad is much lighter and thinner compared to a laptop. You can carry it with ease and use it on the go. This makes it a great plus for people who are always on the move.
Because they are so portable, regular things like writing down a note, doing a google search, browsing YouTube, etc. are faster on an iPad than on a laptop.
And if you are not a major fan of the on screen keyboard or miss the mouse, you can easily get external keyboards and mouses for your iPad.
A keyboard case can make the setup more secure and make it feel as though you are operating a laptop. You can also plug it into another PC as an external monitor. Hence, iPads make great hybrid devices.
- Better Battery Life
The other side of not doing CPU intensive tasks is that an iPad can easily last all day without running out of battery life.
You can go out the door with a fully charged iPad, use it all day long, and then come back home and plug it in for the next day. This is hardly the case with a laptop, which usually requires charging at least once every few hours.
- Useful Apps and Games
There are many apps in the Apple store that are insanely useful for day to day tasks and hobbies, such as word processors, Apple music, Goodnotes, Procreate, iMovie, LumaFusion, Notability, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Nitebloc, Collanote, DangerNotes. etc.
These apps provide a lot of functions that make life much easier. Even simple web browsing is easier when done on an iPad. Like apps, there are many fun and exciting games you can play on an iPad.
While the more advanced and graphic-intensive games such as The Witcher cannot be played, you can play games like Call of Duty mobile with a smooth experience.
Since iPads have a touchscreen, you can play many games on these tablets that cannot be played on a laptop.
Apple takes its user security very seriously, so it is very much unlikely to get viruses on an iPad. The iPad operating system, iPadOS, ensures that no app can overwrite anything else on the tablet.
You can also use a biometric lock, the fingerprint scanner, to lock your device. Biometric security can nowadays also be found on laptops, but not always.
- Nicer to Watch Videos
Because of the portability, watching videos, movies, Netflix, etc., is much more convenient using an iPad.
You can easily lay down, take the iPad, and let a video play. A laptop computer can play videos too, but that would not be as convenient.
Apart from the size, the weight also makes the laptop device less flexible for watching. For these same reasons, an iPad is also amazing as an e reader.
- Limited Screen Size
Some people prefer a bigger screen when working. Unfortunately, the largest screen you can get with an iPad is the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, which costs a lot.
For a comparable price point, you can get a MacBook air with double the storage capacity. An iPad air costs less, but the largest size is 10.86 inches.
- Cannot Run Specialized or Demanding Software
Depending on your job or college major, you may need to use specialized software on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, most apps you can use on an iPad are limited to Apple’s App Store apps only. So, you cannot use an iPad to run specialized software.
Additionally, if you need more demanding usage with faster processing, iPads will not fare well.
- Not Great for Multitasking
Both a laptop and an iPad can multitask, but the former is much more convenient for this.
Common multitasking, such as researching for a paper, taking notes from your research, and drafting the paper simultaneously is very easy to do with a laptop.
Split screen and quick switching between software make multitasking very smooth.
You can use an iPad to do all of this, but it is not very convenient. Switching in between apps, opening a lot of tabs on the Safari browser, and note taking will take up a lot more time by comparison.
- Higher Overall Cost
Sure, compared to many PCs, iPads are the budget option. The cheapest iPad tablet costs only $329, which is certainly very affordable.
However, as you move up the models and look into the more advanced ones, such as iPad Air and iPad Pro, the purchase cost can add up to be as much as $2199.
The more advanced the model and specifications, the higher the cost. And for this same price level, you can get a computer with more storage, powerful graphics, and more processing capacity easily.
To add to that, many useful iPad apps are not free. You need to pay either a one-time charge or subscription fee to be able to use them. So, the cost may add up even more than you initially thought.
Pros and Cons of a Laptop
We have gone through all the major positives and negatives of an iPad, let us now focus more on laptops. Here are the biggest reasons you should (or should not) get a laptop:
- The Perfect All-Rounder Device
The use of a device falls into three categories – general usage, students, and professionals. Apart from the former, the latter two users’ categories almost always require a computer.
Students need a device for research, notetaking, complex computing, specialized courses, and writing.
Professionals may require distinct types of specialized tasks and software for their work, which can all be done on a laptop.
And let’s be real, everyone (apart from MacBook users) needs to use Microsoft office every now and then.
So, if there is just one device you must own, it should undoubtedly be a laptop.
This is an all rounder device that provides you with the heavy processing power of a computer and the portability of a tablet.
- Bigger Display
On paper, the 1-4 inches longer display may not seem as much, but this enhances the user experience.
If you spend many hours of the day looking at a screen, having a larger one makes it more relaxing. You can read and watch items more comfortably on a laptop.
Aside from that, the larger screen also makes room for multitasking. You can split the screen into 2 or 3 to run multiple software. This is particularly useful for students doing research.
- More Processing Power
If you are someone who frequently runs demanding software, simultaneously uses several applications, or plays high-end games, you need a powerful device to take on all these extra loads. An iPad is not built to withstand so much pressure.
For the price of an iPad Pro, you will easily find laptops that can handle high spec games, advanced spreadsheet software, video editing, etc. no sweat.
This is possible because most laptops come with higher CPU and graphics units, thus having more processing capability.
- Upgradable Gaming Capabilities
We have already talked about the fun games you can play on iPad, but a vast majority of graphic intensive games can only be played on laptops.
And these games are usually much more intricate, having a set storyline and complex interactions between characters.
You can progress through the storyline as you play along, unlocking different story paths. This whole experience is truly rewarding, much like watching a movie or a show.
And you can only enjoy it when you use laptops to play because they come with powerful graphics and processing units.
You can even upgrade the graphics card of your laptop to run games faster and smoother, which is something undoable on iPads. Thus, gaming is unquestionably one of the biggest laptop pros.
- Built-in Keyboard
Many people who need to type a lot for their work or hobby prefer using a keyboard to do so. If you are one of those people, then laptops are better suited for you.
While you can buy an external keyboard to use with an iPad, you will have to carry the keyboard with you. This adds another extra item in your bag, defeating the portability feature of the iPad.
A laptop already comes with a keyboard attached, so you do not have to purchase and carry extra items.
- Not as Portable
Laptops are known as portable computers, sure, but they cannot beat the lightness and thinness of an iPad. You can carry them everywhere, but your backpack will be heavy.
Additionally, the laptop needs to be set down somewhere before you can use it. You cannot use a laptop on the go. All of these issues make an iPad the winner in this battle.
- Generally Does Not Have a Touch Screen
We have discussed the Apple pencil and its usefulness before. Most laptops do not come with a touchscreen or a pen/stylus, so all the functionalities of the Apple Pencil will be missing.
The missing touchscreen also takes away all the convenience that comes with using a device like this.
You can still draw and make digital arts with a laptop, but you will have to buy a drawing tablet separately for that.
This might be the better way to go for art students, but the general hobby artists will find iPads a better suited option.
- Cannot Match iPad’s User-Friendliness
iPads are extremely user-friendly devices, so much so that even children can easily figure out how to operate one without any teaching.
Using an iPad is intuitive and fun. Unfortunately, this level of user friendliness is yet to be made for a laptop operating system.
It is important to note that you will not outwardly feel the less user-friendly aspect when you are using a laptop.
But, if you own both iPads and laptops, you will find yourself reaching out to an iPad more to get tasks done, simply because it is easier to use.
There is no true winner in the battle of iPad vs Laptop. Which one you should get depends on the kind of use you want out of the device, and whether you already own a PC.
For light routine use, digital art, and handwriting, an iPad works the best. This device also comes with some particularly useful apps, with functionalities made to make your life and work effortless.
But if you want to run specialized software and high resolution games, nothing can beat laptops. iPads are more of a supporting device meant to make your life easy, while laptops are workstations for your job or business.
I hope the article was of help to you. Thank you for stopping by!